Since 2003, James Paget University Hospitals (JPUH) has prevented a total of 401,760 single-use plastic sharps containers from being manufactured and subsequently disposed of.
As a result, the hospital has received the prestigious Green Apple Environment Award in recognition of years of using sustainable waste management practices.
When searching out ways to reduce its carbon footprint and make a real difference, JPUH recognised an opportunity to make improvements to its waste management practices to drive positive change.
These opportunities included reducing their reliance on single-use plastics by introducing reusable waste containers and implementing new waste streams to divert waste to the most sustainable outlets available.
By introducing Sharpsmart’s reusable sharps containers in 2003, JPUH became the first Trust of its kind in the UK to take the step towards reusables in order to provide a safer, more cost-effective and environmentally-friendly sharps management and disposal system.
After some time of seeing the positive results brought about by the reusable sharps containers and forming a close and long-standing partnership with Sharpsmart, JPUH decided to introduce more solutions to the Trust.
This resulted in the rollout of more reusable waste containers and other technologies to be expanded across several other waste streams in order to divert the generated waste away from high-temperature incineration (HTI) and into more sustainable outlets.
In 2017, the Trust converted its pharmaceutical waste stream to reusable containers and prevented the use of single-use packaging.
In 2021, JPUH introduced the metals recycling system to divert single-use metal instruments from HTI.
Introducing Sharpsmart’s reusable waste containment solutions in JPUH has vastly improved the management of waste within the organisation and ensured a more succinct waste disposal process.
The container solutions provide real-time, point-of-care disposal that in turn enhances staff efficiency and ensures safer disposal whilst also reducing cost and carbon footprint through improved segregation.
The continued expansion of the partnership means that JPUH no longer require any single-use waste container systems and packaging for the following waste streams:
- Non-medicinally contaminated sharps.
- Medicinally contaminated sharps.
- Cytotoxic or cytostatic sharps/soft waste.
- Non-hazardous pharmaceutical waste.
- Single-use metal instruments.
Each reusable container has a 10-year life cycle and with the 1,600 units manufactured and provided by Sharpsmart, James Paget University Hospital has prevented a total of 401,760 single-use containers from being manufactured and incinerated.
The switch to reusables has also eliminated the manufacture of 262 tonnes of polypropylene required to produce the single-use containers, in turn reducing the Trust’s carbon footprint by 1,479.36 tonnes of CO2e.
Since the introduction of Sharpsmart’s innovative ‘non-burn waste disposal’ technology in 2020, 25 tonnes of the Trust’s annual sharps waste stream has been diverted from HTI, further reducing its environmental impact by 12.5 tonnes of CO2e per annum.